D.O.B 17-09-1981 Bilbao Spain Diego Portuondo was born in Bilbao, Spain in 1981. At the age of 7 he went to Ampleforth College, a Catholic boarding school in the north of England.
Portuondo benefited from Ampleforth’s highly artistic curriculum Vitae, exposing him to all mediums of artistic expression, and of course a deep study of History of Art. It was during this time that he developed a tremendous passion for art. At the age of 12, he was taught how to use a dark room and a reflex camera, it was evident that he would excel in this medium.
By the age of 17, Portuondo came in the top 20 art students in the United Kingdom, allowing him to attend university at the prestigious LCP London College of Printing after completing a media foundation course at Central St Martins. However, after 2 years he decided to leave LCP as he felt that his artistic qualities were not developing in the right direction. Portuondo’s family also had an impact on his passion for art and aesthetics, his mother an eccentric designer, his father, a prestigious antique dealer and finally his older brother an Old & Modern masters dealer. Portuondo was exposed to art and artists since he was a child, allowing him to discover and learn about different artistic cultures.
Portuondo decided to devote his time on making himself an artist, by August 2004 he did his first solo show “Head On” which sold out twice over. In this show Portuondo reinvented his style and re-acquainted himself with artistic photography after a brief period working with fashion photography. Portuondo’s Head On series uses photography as a medium for artistic expression, nature and human form unite to convey deeply expressive emotion. Explored through form, the play between black & white and color, and also controlled versus natural light create a world of Portuondos own, that we are only briefly invited to visit.
His investigation on aesthetics is not only reflected on his images, but also his choice of subject matter. The focus of the Head On series being the phrenological busts, which date from the latter part of the 19th century and are almost entirely unknown in our modern lives. The busts are the visual representation of the phrenological parts of the brain as believed by 19th century scientists. Phrenology is the study of the structure of the skull to determine a persons character and mental capacity. The busts also act as canvas for Diegos juxtaposed images, such as landscapes, airport runways at night, and idyllic sunsets.The combination of Phrenological busts and modern moments convey a heightened sense of awareness of our place in a modern world and its humble beginnings.
Portuondos artistic influences are as diverse as his subjects, dada, surrealist, abstract expressionism, pop art, and early photography all play an important role in his composition, subject matter, and palette. Most reminiscent in Head On are the influences of Man Ray, Magritte, and Dali, however Diego does not strive to create a surreal world as these artists did, but an image of a world in the study of phrenology. His vibrant sometimes-violent colors are a mixture of abstract expressionists and Pop artists, yet the sensual poses and stark compositions remind one of Georgia OKeefe, Edward Weston and Imogen Carter.
The balance between nature and the clinical aspect of the phrenological busts give the image a sense of monumentality and equilibrium.Portuondo now lives and works between Ibiza and Paris, where he finds inspiration for his artistic expression.
Apr 2011 ‘Modern Masters & Oh Paris’ SUPERIMPOSE Richard Young Gallery, London.
May 2009- ‘Oh Paris’, ‘Back to Basics’, 40 Aniversario Portuondo, Madrid.
Oct 2008 – ‘Head On’ Galeria Santiago Toca Mexico DF.
Feb 2008 – ‘Daydreamer’ ‘Hurricane Wlma’ ‘Summer Sky’ ARCO 08, AXA collect.
May 2007 – ‘Montaigne’ ‘Hurricane Wilma’ ‘Hands Up’ J.P.W, Madrid.
May 2006 – ‘Hands Up’ ‘Head On’ J.P.W, Madrid.
Oct 2005 – ‘Head On’ ‘Hands Up’ 2300 Studio Gallery, Miami.
Aug 2005 – ‘Head On’ ‘Hands Up’ Hotel Pacha, Ibiza.
Dec 2004 – ‘Head On’ Galeria Hartmann, Barcelona.
Aug 2004 – ‘Head On’ Hotel Pacha, Ibiza.
Apr 2011 ‘Head On’ MACO, (Galeria Santiago Toca) Mexico.
May 2010- ‘Head on breaking News’, ‘NYC Vertigo’, ‘Back to Basics’, Foto Madrid.
Jan 2009 – ‘Back to Basics’, ‘Head on Breaking News’ Thurn & Taxis, Brussels.
Feb 2008 – ‘Head on’ MACT (Museo Arte Contemporáneo Tamaulipas), Mexico.
Jan 2008 – ‘Montaigne’ Thurn & Taxis, Brussels.
Nov 2007 – ‘Hands Up’ ‘Montaigne’ Feriarte, Madrid.
Oct 2007 – ‘Head On’ Art Bogota (Galeria Santiago Toca) Bogota.
Jul 2007 – ‘Hurricane Wima’ Hotel Pacha Ibiza.
Mar 2007 – ‘Hands Up’ ‘Head On’ EuroAntica, Brussels.
Jul 2006 – ‘Flowerís Rock’ Hotel Pacha Ibiza.
Jun 2006 – ‘Spinel’ Olympia Fine Art Fair, London.
Jun 2006 – ‘Hands Up’ ‘Head On’ Galerie de l’Elephant, Ibiza.
Apr 2005 – ‘Head On’ CAD’05 ,Casadecor, Madrid.
May 2001 – ‘Blue’ Blue gallery, Hoxton, London.
May 1999 – ‘Recent Works’ Sunley Art Centre Ampleforth.England.
1999 Ampleforth College
2000-2001 Central St Martin’s School Of Art & Design. BTEC Media Studies.
2001-2003 London College of Printing. BA Photography.
2003 Chelsea & Kengsington College. Advanced Photoshop.
90-92 Pimlico road
SW1W 8PL London
Opening times London
Saturdays: 11am – 1pm 2pm – 5pm
Calle Castello 85
Opening times Madrid
Saturdays: 10am – 2pm
200 Lexingon Avenue
Opening times New york
9.30 pm to 5.30 pm
Saturday – Sunday: Closed
Portuondo New York
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90-92 Pimlico Road
Portuondo New York
New York Design Center
200 Lexingon Avenue